Military Program

The military program ensures cadets receive the opportunities and guidance required for them to become effective commissioned leaders of character.

Military Program

The military program ensures cadets receive the opportunities and guidance required for them to become effective commissioned leaders of character.

Military Program

The purpose of the military program is to instill in cadets the foundational military competencies necessary to serve and win in a complex world while inspiring them to professional excellence. The program is overseen by the Commandant of Cadets and administered by a team of military and civilian professionals dedicated to building, educating, training, and inspiring the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation.

Military Program Goals

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"History will show that no man rose to military greatness, who could not convince his troops that he put them first."

- General Maxwell Taylor

Military Development Sequence

Cadet Basic Training (ML100 & MD100). New cadets are enrolled in MD100 and ML100. CBT is a demanding progression of training requirements that forms the foundation for all future instruction at USMA. It instructs, trains, inspires, and transitions civilians and prior service military personnel into cadets and future officers. CBT also inculcates attributes expected of future officers, including foundational military competencies and the values of character and commitment.

Leader Development (MD101/102). Cadet privates serve as members of a squad in their assigned companies while enrolled in MD101 and MD102 in the fall and spring terms, respectively. Cadet privates begin their leader development by learning to be good followers, USMA customs and courtesies, serving as a member of a team, and how to successfully complete their assigned duties and responsibilities as outlined in USCC PAM 6-22.

MS100: Intro to Warfighting. Cadets develop a solid footing built upon the foundational military competencies of soldierization, shooting, moving, communicating, and medicating. MS100 learning objectives better prepare cadets for follow-on MS courses and summer training events and instill attributes that allow cadets to become agile, adaptive, and flexible leaders

Cadet Field Training (ML200/MD200). The mission of CFT is to develop, train, test, and validate the foundational military competencies to prepare third-class cadets to assume duties as NCOs in the Corps of Cadets. CFT builds upon previous summer training and MS coursework, emphasizing the foundational military competencies of soldierization, survival, communication, and shooting, and moving. Trainees lead, participate in, and conduct small unit operations. 

Leader Development (MD201/202). Cadet corporals are enrolled in MD201 and MD202 in the fall and spring terms, respectively, and serve primarily as team leaders. Cadet corporals assume a direct leadership role in the chain of command for the first time. They learn to lead others by exercising responsibility for the professional development of one or two subordinates (cadet privates) while performing as a member of a larger military unit. 

MS200: Fundamentals of Small Unit Operations. MS200 ensures each cadet achieves a fundamental understanding of small unit operations while encouraging problem-solving and critical thought processes in simulated tactical situations. Cadets develop and grow competence and confidence while planning, communicating, and executing squad and platoon-level operations. 

Military Individual Advanced Development Opportunities (MIAD). MIAD experiences include US Army schools and training opportunities offered to Soldiers and leaders in the institutional Army. These schools focus on developing military skills necessary for future success in our Army. MIADs are an exceptional tool for giving cadets perspective and context with how the Army trains and provide them with a great confidence-building experience. MIADs are allocated based on the availability and needs of the Corps of Cadets. The third class (Yearling) summer is the timeframe where most cadets complete a MIAD.  

Cadet Leader Development Training (25% of Cows). ML300 is the capstone military training event at USMA and ensures cadets have the aptitude required to lead soldiers upon commissioning. This course instructs, trains, mentors, and assesses first-class and select second-class cadets on basic warrior and leadership skills. The primary focus is on TLPs, effective communication, and tactical decision-making to develop competent and confident small-unit leaders capable of operating in complex environments. 

MD300 – Leader Detail (70% of Cows). Cadets must serve in a West Point Leader Detail in either their second class or first class summer. During this detail, cadets can plan, resource, and lead the Cadet Summer Training executed by underclassmen.  Evaluations during a West Point Leader Detail include a cadet’s overall performance as a leader, including assigned duties and responsibilities, professional conduct, and physical fitness. 

MD400 – Cadet Troop Leader Training (40% of Cows). Cadets spend three weeks embedded with an Operational Unit. The primary objective of CTLT is to provide upper-class cadets with a realistic leadership experience in the Operating Force, enabling cadets to confirm their branch preference while also identifying any remaining developmental needs as they approach commissioning. 

MS300: Platoon Operations. MS300 expands upon existing knowledge of basic infantry tactics and knowledge of TLPs acquired from CBT, CFT, and previous MS courses. The focus of MS300 is building strong, confident tactical decision-makers who understand Army doctrine and can apply creative thinking and common sense in solving tactical problems. MS300 will enhance each cadet’s tactical planning and decision-making skills by testing their decisiveness in time-constrained scenarios with limited information to prepare these future officers for the challenges of leading soldiers in complex environments. 

Cadet Leader Development Training (80% of Firsties). ML300 is the capstone military training event at USMA and ensures cadets have the aptitude required to lead soldiers upon commissioning. This course instructs, trains, mentors, and assesses first-class and select second-class cadets on basic warrior and leadership skills. The primary focus is on TLPs, effective communication, and tactical decision-making to develop competent and confident small unit leaders capable of operating in complex environments. 

MD300 – Leader Detail (30% of Firsties). Cadets must serve in a West Point Leader Detail in either their second class or first class summer. During this detail, cadets can plan, resource, and lead the cadet Summer Training executed by underclassmen.  Evaluations during a West Point Leader Detail include a cadet’s overall performance as a leader, including assigned duties and responsibilities, professional conduct, and physical fitness. 

MD400 – Cadet Troop Leader Training (60% of Firsties). Cadets spend three weeks embedded with an Operational Unit. The primary objective of CTLT is to provide upper-class cadets with a realistic leadership experience in the Operating Force, enabling cadets to confirm their branch preference while also identifying any remaining developmental needs as they approach commissioning. 

MX400: Officership. Enrolled during either the fall or spring semester, first class cadets participate in MX400, overseen by the Simon Center for Professional Military Ethic. This course complements the first three years of cadet education and training by engaging in discussion-based seminars focused on the Army’s professional leadership framework of character, competence, and commitment. 

Leader Development (MD401/402). First Class Cadets are enrolled in MD401 and MD402 in the fall and spring terms, respectively, and serve as cadet officers and command sergeants major, where they learn to lead organizations within the Corps. They serve in leadership positions from platoon leader through brigade commander, and in a variety of staff positions at company through brigade level. They learn to rely upon the performance of others for success. 

Military Science Courses

Cadets take a number of military science courses, taught by a professional cadre who employ a variety of teaching techniques that include heavy use of tactical decision-making games, simulation exercises, and open discussions. The military science core program builds the skills and nurtures the attributes and qualities of character that are essential for army officers on today’s complex battlefields.

Military Training

Cadets conduct a wide range of world-class military training primarily during the summer months at West Point. Much of the training occurs on the expansive and modern military reservation surrounding the academy, but cadets also have the opportunity to travel around the world as part of their training experiences. 

Enrichment Experiences

Cadets can partake in a wide variety of military-focused enrichment experiences--many of which are only available at West Point--including Military Clubs, scholarship opportunities through the Modern Warfare Institute, and Cadet Advanced Training (CAT) opportunities.

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Capstone Course

The culminating experience of a cadet's military education is the Superintendent’s capstone course, MX400: Officership. The course challenges cadets to reflect on their own character-development experiences as cadets while also studying the enduring and emerging ethical challenges of the profession they are about to enter. MX400 empowers cadets to understand and embrace their ongoing development as leaders of character and their emerging identities as Army officers.